Trophy to unlikely Tawa
Tawa AFC’S first team secured a huge confidence boost for the new Central League campaign by winning the Hilton Petone Cup on April 1.
The prestigious pre-season trophy was used as a valuable warm-up to the new season, often attracting the region’s best sides, coach Maarten Romijn said.
Tawa had not shown much in the early rounds, with a squad depleted by injuries and absences.
They went into the HP final – against an excel- lent Olympic side – shorn of eight regular players. The odds against a win at Memorial Park widened further when captain Steve Romijn and striker Todd Painter went down with hamstring strains inside the first five minutes.
Olympic dominated the first half for long periods but Tawa custodian Lance Ramaekers made several key saves to keep his side in the game. In the second spell, Tawa played with more confidence and the midfield began to get on top, Romijn said.
With 20 minutes to go Scott Cameron latched on to a loose ball and opened the scoring for the reds, with Mike Ramaekers doubling their lead minutes later.
The win was an example of the team spirit Tawa look forward to demonstrating in the upcoming Central League season, Romijn said.
‘‘An example of this was Daniel Cody, who has recovered from a knee operation earlier this year and played 80 minutes in the final.’’
AFC celebrate a win that none but their most ardent supporters would have believed possible, over highly-fancied Olympic on April 1.